Face Off: WhatsApp vs. Telegram by Rob Blaich

Since 2010, WhatsApp has progressively become the world's most-used, non-SMS text messaging application. It was for good reason too.


WhatsApp was one of the first apps to work cross-platform, and bring many features along that were seen in BBM, such as sent and read receipts. Since the app uses data instead of SMS/MMS, it has also become a favorite for millions outside of the USA and Canada. Unlike these two, other countries are often nickeled and Dimed per SMS, and unlimited texting plans are not nearly as common. Data is the way to go.

This wasn't the only messaging service to show up to the table with a solution though. Other messengers, such as Kik, attempted to offer the same options with their own twists. For whatever reason, though, WhatsApp just stuck - and grew.


Then Facebook bought them.

Suddenly many felt the app would go downhill. People feared they would lose security and privacy. The list goes on.


Telegram was born.


At first sight, Telegram does look and feel a lot like WhatsApp. It isn't until you use it for a short while before you notice the differences and begin to appreciate what Telegram has to offer that WhatsApp cannot - and vise versa.


To keep it simple, and avoid creating a long article as I tend to do, I'll create a table;


Feature
WhatsApp
Telegram



Price
Free for the first year.
$0.99 / year
Free!
Platform
Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, Nokia, Symbian, Windows Phone, web app
Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad), BlackBerry 10 (using Android), Windows Phone, Windows, OS X, Linux, web app
Multiple Platform Sync
No. One device per phone number / SIM
Yes, syncs across all devices.
In-app advertising
No
No
Marked as Sent/Read
Yes
Yes
Photo sharing
Yes - jpg, png
Yes - jpg, png, gif, webP
Video sharing
Yes
Yes
File Sharing
Yes - photos, video, audio, location, contacts
Yes - up to 1.5GB of any file type
Voice recording
Yes
Yes
Phone calling
Yes (New!)
No
Video calling
No
No
Stickers
No
Yes - Both in-app, also allows to share your own via web app / desktop applications
Group Chat
Yes
Yes
Group Chat features
Title for group chat, avatar for group chat
Reply to specific post, mention user(s), title chat, avatar for chat
Contact Sharing Method
Contacts must have your phone number in their contact list.
Contacts may have your phone number or email in your contact list - OR - users may create and share a username
Secret Chat
No
Yes
Status Update
Yes
No
Muting Chat / Group chat
Yes - Group chats only; 1 hour, 1 week, 1 year
Yes - 1 hour, 8 hours, 2 days, disable
Customize chat background
Yes
Yes
Location sharing
Yes
Yes
In-app photo editor
No
Yes
In-app GIF and JPG finder
No
Yes
Material Design (Android)
No
Yes
Search for content in chats, including hashtags
Yes - Only within each chat
Yes - Universal in all chats
Drag-and-drop files, photos, etc to desktop or web app
No
Yes - Desktop
Pop-up Messages
Yes - Reply
Yes - Reply
Custom notification sounds/LED per contact
No
Yes - Android only
Broadcast messaging
Yes
Yes
Open API
No
Yes
Forward Messages
Yes
Yes
Shortcut to conversation
Yes - Android
No

In case it wasn’t obvious, the blue text showed the winner in each category. If I tallied up which app won, it comes to 16-Telegram, 3-WhatsApp, with the remaining 11 features being equal to each other.

It should be noted that I did not include the speed or security of each app. These aren’t really features in my eyes, and more just how each app is.

If I happened to have missed any features, or was incorrect with any of them, by all means, let me know in the comment section!


WhatsApp: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.whatsapp
Telegram: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.telegram.messenger

+Rob Blaich 
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